Peanut Gallery for “A Reply To Consi” on national health coverage

Over on the thread, A Reply To Consi on national health care,  Les is responding to the following quote:

If you don’t have the talent or the willingness to move to where there is a job that provides health care, well then, that is a bed of one’s own making.

Consi is answering but…

In posting this up, the subject line seems to suggest a desire for a conversation between us.  I’m more than willing to engage in that conversation, but that is often times difficult to do here.  The reason being that there are multiple posts of varying value between the replies.  If you do want a conversation to take place, I’m asking you to so state.  If you so state, I’d like to ask your other members to show the courtesy and restraint necessary to allow the conversation to take place by not flooding the thread.

OK, fine.  We’ve been here before:  Consi wants silence in the theater while he dazzles the audience with his intellectual legerdemain.  (in the previous case, there was some justification as the subject was very technical)  So THIS thread is a peanut gallery where the rest of us can carry on with our simian chattering “of varying value” on the subject.

A reply to Consi on the issue of national health care.

This is a first. I’m actually offended by something Consi wrote…

If you don’t have the talent or the willingness to move to where there is a job that provides health care, well then, that is a bed of one’s own making.

Comments like that are why I laugh bitterly every time I hear some Republican use the phrase “Compassionate Conservatism” as though it wasn’t a complete oxymoron. What the fuck? Only talented people are allowed to have decent health care?

Apparently I’m not talented enough to have a job that provides decent health care. Oh wait, I am that talented as I’ve had those jobs in the past. Shame I got laid off because the company decided to make the position a direct hire and had an arbitrary requirement that direct hires have a four year degree — in nothing in particular — to be considered for employment.

Technically my current job and the Meijer’s job I held previously both offer health care. Of course at Meijers I was earning a mere $7 an hour which came out to around $245 a week after taxes. Insurance for me and my family would’ve cost around $600 a month. How’s your math, Consi?

At this point I’m working for a company that’s paying me $15 an hour which is considered a pretty good wage by some folks. They also offer insurance after 90 days, but from what I’m told the entire cost of said insurance would come out of my pay. When I asked the recruiter about it she said in utmost candor that “It really isn’t worth it unless you’re single, and even then not really.” I’ve not hit the three month mark yet so I don’t know what the actual costs are, but I’m not filled with optimism after being told something like the above. The fact that every single guy on my team hasn’t signed up for the health insurance either is another bad sign about the cost.

So that leaves moving, which Consi suggests as a possible solution. I’m reluctant to move because I have roots here. My family is here, my friends are here, and, I realize this is quaint, I love this stupid state even if its economy is completely screwed up at the moment. I’d rather stay and try to be a part of the state’s comeback and be close to my family and friends. Consi seems to think that means I shouldn’t expect to be able to get reasonable and affordable health care.

In essence, Consi’s position seems to be one of: “Sucks to be you. I got mine and that’s all that matters to me.” The thing that kills me about that line of thinking is that you’d think conservatives would realize that if people didn’t have to worry about health care they could focus on working and improving their situation.

Since I was first laid off from Ford in February of 2005, with the exception of my brief return to Ford last year before a second lay off after just two and a half months, I’ve been without health care for me and my family. In two years we’ve been to the doctor’s a total of three times paying for the office visits out of pocket and one trip to the dentist we managed to squeeze in during my brief stint last year. We’ve been pretty lucky so far, but it’s starting to catch up with us. I lost one of my fillings last year and haven’t been able to afford getting it replaced. That’s come back to haunt me as I’ve been suffering from minor tooth and ear aches on that side of my head so I’m going to have to address it, out of pocket, sometime this week. My left hip is giving me problems which I mentioned in passing during one of the office visits with our doctor last year and the doctor said that if I had insurance she’d have some tests done, but I can’t afford that at the moment so I just keep trudging on hoping that my hip doesn’t have a major problem. Additionally, Anne’s been having some gastrointestinal problems and Courtney injured her foot in dance class at school that still seems to be bothering her.

I’m not trying to drum up sympathy here, just pointing out that back when we had health care we’d have addressed these issues as soon as we noticed them and could get back to being productive members of society in short order. Now it’s a daily question of: Has the problem gotten so bad that we have to find a way to pay for, at a minimum, an office visit. With my tooth I’ll probably end up having to have the dentist just yank the damned thing out as it tends to be cheaper than anything else they can do, my sister has had to do that in the past as has my wife. I suppose given my redneck heritage it’s somewhat appropriate, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

Compared to a lot of people in the same boat as us, our problems are somewhat minor. It was just one month prior to my first lay off that I wrote this entry about my cousin who died from friggin’ pneumonia because she didn’t have health care and couldn’t afford an office visit to find out that she was that seriously sick. Every time one of us gets the sniffles I can’t help but wonder in the back of my head is it just a cold or something more serious?

I said it then and I’ll say it again now: In the richest country on the planet it’s simply ridiculous that we can’t find a way to have a national health care system. But hey, according to Consi, it’s my own damn fault that I’m not talented enough or living in the right place to have a job with decent health care. Spending trillions of taxpayer money on a war started on lies that the vast majority of people don’t want to be in is A-OK, but holy fucking Christ on a stick you’re a communist if you think folks should be entitled to health care. Fortunately it looks like national health care is going to be a big issue in the next election. With any luck perhaps something will actually come out of it once Bush is gone.